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Friday, 15 November 2019

Burkina Faso political transition accord signed

AP , Sunday 16 Nov 2014
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Burkina Faso officials signed a charter on Sunday intended to guide the country toward elections as various factions submitted nominations for an interim head of state to replace longtime President Blaise Compaore, who abruptly stepped down last month.

The signing ceremony took place at the House of the People in the capital, Ouagadougou. Politicians and representatives of the army, civil society and religious and traditional leaders all participated.

An interim president was expected to be named Sunday night and confirmed on Monday, while a new prime minister was expected to be appointed by Wednesday.

Compaore, who served 27 years in office, resigned on Oct. 31 amid mounting opposition to his bid to seek yet another term, fleeing to Yamoussoukro, the political capital of neighboring Ivory Coast. He never identified a potential successor and his departure created a power vacuum in which at least three people tried to assume control of the country in the space of a week.

After suspending the constitution, the military designated Lt. Col. Isaac Yacouba Zida as the transitional leader, though Zida faced intense pressure to restore civilian rule. On Saturday, Zida announced through a spokesman that the constitution had been restored.

"There will be a 'before Oct. 30' and an 'after Oct. 30' in Burkina," Zida said at the signing ceremony on Sunday, referring to the day that anti-Compaore demonstrations escalated dramatically, with protesters setting the parliament building ablaze.

"The insistence and the political myopia of the constitutional revision shook us," Zida added. Condemning what he described as Compaore's abuse of authority, he said the ex-president brought about his own exit by trying to change the constitution so he could run again.

Under the charter signed Sunday, a 90-member transition council will serve as the country's parliament, while the prime minister will head a 25-member government.

The interim president and ministers in the transitional government will be barred from standing in elections expected to be held a year from now. 

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